The terms “brand,” “branding,” and “brand identity” are sometimes treated as interchangeable, but that’s not the case.
- Brand is the perception of the company in the eyes of the world.
- Branding involves the marketing practice of actively shaping a distinctive brand.
- Brand identity is the collection of all brand elements that the company creates to portray the right image of itself to the consumer.
Your brand identity is what makes you instantly recognizable to your customers. Your audience will associate your brand identity with your product or service, and that identity is what forges the connection between you and your customers, builds customer loyalty, and determines how your customers will perceive your brand.
Before you know what tangible elements you want to make up your brand identity, you need to know who you are as a brand.
Who you are as a brand is made up of a few key elements:
- Your mission (what’s your “why?”)
- Your values (what beliefs drive your company?)
- Your brand personality (if your brand was a person, what kind of personality would they have?)
- Your unique positioning (how do you differentiate yourself from the competition?)
- Your brand voice (if your brand was a person, how would it communicate?)
These elements are what define your brand, and before you start building your brand identity, it’s important you have a clear understanding of each.